Trade Lanes

In-depth news and analysis of the world's major shipping trade lanes including the trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe and more. The container line landscape is constantly evolving as market dynamics present new challenges to the industry. See how the companies involved have changed as a result of mergers and acquisitions since 1977.

Commentary

Despite the hype, east-west transit shipments through the Northern Sea Route are likely to remain a niche trade.

News & Analysis

Port of Long Beach.
22 Feb 2018
The 18th Annual TPM Conference marks the start of formal negotiations between many beneficial cargo owners and container lines on annual trans-Pacific service contracts. Price, as always, will drive those negotiations. However, as recent news demonstrates, price is not everything.
Central American ports such as Panama's Port of Colon are sending more containers to the United States.
14 Feb 2018
US imports from Central America surpassed 1 million TEU for the first time ever in 2017.
Port of Los Angeles.
12 Feb 2018
Beneficial cargo owners are enjoying some of the lowest pre-Lunar New Year spot rates of the past six years, but they should not necessarily expect that this will give them extra leverage in service contract negotiations beginning next month.
Matson container ship
08 Feb 2018
Consumers in Puerto Rico actually benefit from lower freight rates in the efficient Jones Act services that are marked by dedicated vessels and terminals, versus foreign-flag services to other Caribbean islands, Matson CEO Matt Cox said.
A container ship at the Port of Santos, Brazil.
05 Feb 2018
Price-wise, the Asia to East Coast of South America is one of the most volatile trade lanes in global trade — which is why analysts argue shippers should not use the trade’s spot rate to predict May service contract rates.
02 Feb 2018
The modest increases — two weeks before the Lunar New Year, when factories will close for a week or two — indicates that retailers are restocking their inventories and preparing for the spring shopping season at a measured pace.
Port of Felixstowe Trinity Berths 6 and 7
02 Feb 2018
Spot rates on the Asia–Europe and Med trades have remained subdued in the run up to Lunar New Year.
Hamburg Süd said the restructuring of the Pacific service strings to the South and Central American west coast and into the Caribbean.
31 Jan 2018
Hamburg Süd has withdrawn from a vessel-sharing agreement on the Asia-west coast of South America routes and will offer new services on the fast-growing trade.
30 Jan 2018
The sheer scale of China’s waste import business means exporters need to find alternative markets for their recyclable products.
29 Jan 2018
A new schedule outlined by Mediterranean Shipping Co. will substantially cut the time needed to send cargo from Europe to the US East Coast.
29 Jan 2018
The new container service will be Pensacola’s first. World Direct said the port near the tip of Florida’s panhandle will complement the carrier’s current calls at Port Manatee.
26 Jan 2018
The small change in spot rates this week suggests carriers are satisfied with the current capacity/demand economics in the Pacific.
26 Jan 2018
Spot rates on Asia-Europe/Asia-Mediterranean are holding steady, but rate increases for Feb. 1 are in the cards as the peak Lunar New Year shipping period approaches.
MSC.
24 Jan 2018
The first sailing of MSC’s fortnightly roll-on, roll-off West Africa service will begin Feb. 19 from Le Havre.
19 Jan 2018
Carrier consolidation and projections for continued growth in imports alert beneficial cargo owners to the growing possibility of rate restoration in 2018, but a former shipping executive said carrier discipline is crucial, if service contract rates are to exceed those of last year.
19 Jan 2018
Importers are shipping with a sense of urgency to bring their merchandise into the United States before factories in Asia close down for the Lunar New Year celebrations on Feb 16.
19 Jan 2018
The supply-demand balance will become more favorable to carriers in the second half, believes Jefferies.
19 Jan 2018
Spot rates have flattened on trades from China to Europe and the Mediterranean with Lunar New Year peak season yet to materialize.
18 Jan 2018
Two joint, weekly intra-Asia routes — connecting major ports on India's east and west coasts — are scheduled to start from Shanghai, China, at the end of this month.
18 Jan 2018
With an expanding US economy boosting imports, and carrier consolidation providing leverage on the capacity side, industry experts are putting beneficial cargo owners on notice that the 2018 to 2019 service contracting season could be difficult.
17 Jan 2018
Expanding SM Line will add another China-US West Coast service to its growing portfolio as the carrier continues to grow its market share.
15 Jan 2018
When OOCL is part of Cosco and the three Japanese lines merge soon, most of the container ship capacity will be concentrated in just a few hands.
14 Jan 2018
ILA and USMX officials had hoped to agree on a contract extension that would reassure the hundreds of shippers who will attend the JOC’s annual Trans-Pacific Maritime (TPM) conference March 4-7 in Long Beach, California.
12 Jan 2018
Spot rates are rising into a late Lunar New Year, with a host of carrier rate increases scheduled for early February.
11 Jan 2018
In a recent interview, Soo Cheon Lee, co-founder and chief investment officer at investment bank SC Lowy, said SM Line would have to find partners on the trans-Pacific if it was to maintain its competitive edge.
11 Jan 2018
GTI is poised to receive the first call from a new intra-Asia service, jointly announced by Cosco Shipping Lines and Wan Hai Lines.
09 Jan 2018
Excess capacity in the market is doing carriers no favors in contract talks with shippers, and even though demand is growing, it will not be strong enough to address the surplus in supply.
05 Jan 2018
Solid spot rates this week position carriers for possible rate hikes as the Lunar New Year approaches.
05 Jan 2018
In the "forwarder battle" between carriers and NVOs, performance in one area may be critical to winning shippers as clients.
02 Jan 2018
In a series of conversations, JOC executive editor Mark Szakonyi surveyed three shippers on how 2017 fared for their supply chains and what 2018 holds.
29 Dec 2017
Spot rates in the major east-west trades ended 2017 on a high note.
26 Dec 2017
The third direct service supplements the carrier's CIMEX 6 and CIMEX 8 service.
22 Dec 2017
Eastbound trans-Pacific spot rates are also down substantially from 2016, but there is a qualification. Those 2016 spot rates were boosted by the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy.
22 Dec 2017
There was no movement in Asia-Europe and Asia-Mediterranean rates this week as the holiday season begins.
19 Dec 2017
SM Line is hoping to partner with its larger Korean rival HMM as the carrier plans to launch a new trans-Pacific service.